Here we go again.
Sears Holdings (shld, -1.89%) on Friday announced a new round of store closings, this one involving 43 locations. The company framed the move as a strategic decision, one that will aid in its hoped-for return to profitability.
The retailer, which operates the Sears department stores and Kmart discount chain, has already announced 265 closings this fiscal year. The latest paring of the fleet will leave the company with 1,140 stores, barely more than half the number of stores it operated in 2012. In this latest round of shutterings, 35 Kmart stores and eight Sears stores will close. (See list below.)
That’s likely not the last of it, either. In a blog post, company CEO Eddie Lampert said more closings are coming.
In May, Sears reported disastrous first quarter results, with comparable sales down 12.4% at Sears, and 11.2% at Kmart in the first quarter. The disappointing sales numbers weren’t new — Sears lost about $10 billion in the last six years — but there are signs the retailer is reaching a crisis point. Earlier this year, the company implemented a $1.25 billion cost-cutting plan, and acknowledged fears it could very well go bankrupt.
“We have fought hard for many years to return unprofitable stores to a competitive position and to preserve jobs,” Lampert wrote in the blog post. “As a result, we had to absorb corresponding losses in the process. So, it is obvious that we don’t make decisions to close stores lightly.”
Lampert, a hedge fund manager who…